Archives for 2007


It’s the seventeenth Eighteenth anniversary of my marriage to a woman who, I’ve always said, deserves a lot better than me. She’s stuck with me through thick and thin, roughly a jillion moves and we had some fun while we were doing it.

Thanks, honey, for sticking with me, and let’s hope the next years are as fun as the last!

Improbable Research

Improbable Research is a great Journal (did it used to be the Journal of Irreproducible Results, or was that another?), which has the yearly igNoble awards for the most dubious research.

I bring it up because it’s now available online, and the articles are viewable in Low-Res .pdf format for free, which is all I need to a good laugh. It’s good research-geek fun, and I hope you try it out!

Fort Worth will take blood from DWI suspects | 12/28/2007 | Fort Worth will take blood from DWI suspects
Fort Worth will take blood from DWI suspects

FORT WORTH — Fort Worth motorists who get pulled over on New Year’s Eve and think they can beat a drunken driving conviction by refusing a breath test had better think again.

Fort Worth police are going to get a search warrant and take your blood.

So, do not drink and drive. If the cops draw your blood you’re lucky, because if our ED nurses are drawing your blood you’re probably injured.

Brain Scramble » Blog Archive » The Holiday Edition Change of Shift

Brain Scramble » Blog Archive » The Holiday Edition Change of Shift

Welcome to the holiday edition of Change of Shift!

Up for those reading blogs over the holidays. People like me.

MedBlog Grand Rounds 4:14 — Internet Journal of Emerging Medical Technologies

Hello and welcome to Grand Rounds at Medgadget! Grand Rounds is the weekly collection of the best in online medical blogging, with posts collected from doctors, nurses, students, researchers, policy wonks, and patients.Today’s edition falls on Christmas Day! When growing up, we always looked forward to a bunch of presents (gadgets?) under the tree — and hope you are waking up to a warm and plentiful Christmas scene today. Perhaps you’ll consider the links below a kind of Christmas bounty, with gifts from around the world designed to provoke, delight, and capture your fancy.

MedGadget is a terrific site, and this is an excellent Grand Rounds.  Happy Holiday reading!

Addicted to Medblogs: Dr. December is . . . GruntDoc

Addicted to Medblogs: Dr. December is . . . GruntDoc

I saved GruntDoc for December because he reminds me of Santa Claus. It’s my blog, I don’t have to tell you why. This wasn’t the picture I originally chose for GruntDoc, but 10/10 called him Grandpa GruntDoc in Twas the Blog Before Christmas, so I needed something to get that image out of my head. Just because GruntDoc is the patriarch of medblogs, doesn’t mean he can’t be hot.

Yes, that picture is a lot like me. Not the guy in the hat, the picture of Comet next to it.

Thanks for choosing me for December, ATM!

And, Merry Christmas!

The Physician Executive: Doctors and Customer Service

The Physician Executive: Doctors and Customer Service

A terrific entry on Customer Service, and how Medicine maybe isn’t as bad as we think. His summation is excellent:

We can lose sight of the fact that, compared to the level of service received in retail, business services, financial services, hospitality, IT and others, health care does reasonably well. We can lose sight that the law of diminishing returns dictates that significant improvements from here will be prohibitively expensive and pack only a small punch. Sometimes, the emphasis on customer service can belittle a worthy industry and its workforce.

Nobody’s perfect, and being pretty good doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try a little harder, but his payoff says it all:

Personally, I think we are doing well, and our weaknesses come to rise from the expectations that grow as a consequence of our success.

Read it all.

via Kevin Josh, MD

Twas The Blog Before Christmas « Ten out of Ten

Twas The Blog Before Christmas « Ten out of Ten

The Night Before Christmas, medblogger-style. I get to be the Patriarch. Heh.

Dr. Wes: Remembering

Dr. Wes: Remembering

A moving tribute to his father.

Texas Top Ten Insurance Fraud Cases – The Doc’s is the Worst

Apologies to Kevin, MD, here’s another in the Doctors Gone Wild series:

Top Ten Insurance Fraud Cases – Fiscal Year 2007
Ira Klein, a former doctor from Houston, developed several schemes to defraud health insurers, including billing for services not rendered, unbundling pharmaceutical drugs and selling them at a substantial profit and up-coding. Klein was convicted in federal court on 44 counts of mail fraud and sentenced to serve 135 months in prison for his part in defrauding health insurers of more than $10 million dollars. Prior to his Texas court appearance, Klien was arrested in Florida for setting fire to a $3.2 million dollar house he purchased for his wife. Then while awaiting trial in a Texas jail, Klein attempted to execute a murder-for-hire plot against the federal prosecutor, FBI agent and wife number six. It was unfortunate for Klein who lost another $250,000 after the government forfeited the money he wired to pay for the murder-for-hire plot. Authorities also seized in excess of $10 million of Klein’s assets; those funds will be used to offset the court ordered restitution of $11 million dollars.

10 million? That’s a lot of procedures, and a lot of bills. I’m not surprised this got investigated.

Via Sleepless in Midland who had a more personal response.

Losing another

I found out recently (I’m usually the last to know) that one of our best nurses is off to the carpeted zone, that area of the hospital that consumes good people and delivers paper and protocols to the ones actually doing the work of the hospital.

Like my kids, I love all our nurses equally, though there’re some that seem to get what being an ED nurse entails more than others, and there are the few who can anticipate the next three moves, make them happen, and tell you when it’s done. It’s wonderful when they have your patients, as they’re in good hands and so are you.

This disappointment means a couple of things, good and bad. The good news is that I’m finally in one place long enough to be an ‘old timer’, but it’s actually painful to watch the terrific nurses go.

So, here’s to you, and best of luck in the less-exciting but more stable life outside the Emergency Department.

Washington Post on the on-call specialist shortage

Per the WaPo:

washingtonpost.comHospital emergency departments across the United States, already struggling with overcrowding and growing patient loads, are increasingly unable to find specialists to help treat seriously injured and ill patients, according to medical experts.

Crucial minutes, hours and even days can go by as patients suffering from trauma, strokes, broken bones and other maladies await evaluations by neurologists, orthopedic surgeons and other specialists because hospitals are having difficulty getting them to serve 24-hour emergency “on-call” shifts.

“It can mean death,” said Linda Lawrence, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a practicing emergency department doctor in California. “Patients have died in transport, or waiting to find a neurosurgeon, or getting to a heart center for a cardiologist.”

It means a lot of transfers, if a specialist can be found.  We’re getting more and more transfers as outlying hospitals have more and more trouble getting specialists to be on call for ED patients.

MedGadget Medical Weblog Awards: Nomination Phase

It’s time for the 2007 MedBlog Awards, again being hosted by the outstanding MedGadget!

The 2006 Medical Blog Awards
The categories are:

  • Best Medical Weblog
  • Best New Medical Weblog (est. 2007)
  • Best Literary Medical Weblog
  • Best Clinical Sciences Weblog
  • Best Health Policies/Ethics Weblog
  • Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog
  • Best Patient Blog

There’s plenty of room for blog nomination, so nominate your favorite! (Except me: As the inaugural winner and having been a judge in the past I’m self-excluding).

The current nominees are excellent, and I’d encourage you to participate!

The Anaesthetist’s Hymn and a Careless Surgeon Song – Medgadget –

The Anaesthetist’s Hymn and a Careless Surgeon Song – Medgadget –

The first song is very funny; the second isn’t my cup of tea, but still shows talent.

MedBlogs Grand Rounds 4:13

Trick-cycling For Beginners: Grand Rounds

in Haiku.